The Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness is a wonderful new video about the state of the world and the choices we have. It’s one of the best and most moving and persuasive things I’ve ever seen about those issues … a powerful contribution to human awareness. It’s beautifully made, full of compelling ideas and images and wise voices and faces, including Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Andrew Simms, Zac Goldsmith, Samdhong Rinpoche … and the people of Ladakh. It’s very heartening to “meet” those people in the video, and to experience such effective communication.

The video speaks of a world in which most people assume that the growth of the unregulated global corporate consumer culture is unstoppable, inevitable … in spite of the dire costs to the planet and its people … and then it shows us emerging alternatives. And it shows, very compellingly, how those different realities impact people’s psychological well-being.

The information it conveys is vital, of course … but it seems to me that the manifest goodness and clarity and wisdom of the people we meet in the video cause us to open ourselves to what the video offers. I’m referring to Helena, our wonderful guide, and to the people of Ladakh, and to the thought leaders who speak to us. The truth and beauty in those people – and therefore in what they say – are not things we have to assess or wonder about … we experience them directly. This video, like many others, addresses vital issues … but it does so in a way that opens our hearts while we are considering those issues. And that is its unique genius.

My wife Fayegail and I attended a screening of The Economics of Happiness at a friend’s house. It was attended by a dozen people, and everyone felt the impact of the video. After we watched it, we had a wonderful, engaging, open-hearted discussion.

Here’s the Link to the Website for the video: It includes the trailer and other videos, information about the issues, ways to get involved, a Link to order the DVD, and much more.

The DVD is available at the Ashland Library and at DJ’s Video and Video Explorer.

For a long time, I’ve been wrestling with this question: How can we address the colliding belief systems that seem to keep people from finding agreement, from working together for a healthy future? I believe The Economics of Happiness is one powerful answer to that question.

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